Bustin Down Day 4 Of The Quik Pro
By Col Bernasconi | 28 February 2012
Jordy Smith 2.0 is leaner, meaner and still choc full of fin-flaring force. Pic: ASP/Robbo
Like the 11 times world champ Kelly Slater I too thought the powers that be would not run the Quiksilver Pro today – we were both wrong. “I didn’t think we’d be surfing today”, Kelly said to physically opulent presenter Rosie Hodge after his fourth round win over Brazzo Heitor Alves and Tahitian Michel Bourez. “I was sleeping in, I got a call at 7:20 saying it’s on ‘get down here’”… So a mere 40 minutes into his day the champ managed to ride out of the rodeo round and straight into the quarterfinals. Falling short, Heitor and Michel (and all the other fourth round losers) would have their second chance to buckle-up in round five – but who wouldn’t like to jump a round?
He may have been half asleep but he was on rail and on point. Surfing almost on autopilot his smooth-as-silk power cutbacks (Kelly’s bread and butter) cut-through the chop without a hiccup. “He’s switched boards,” Channel Islands’ man on the ground Travis Lee told me. With the divets and ramps now smaller and tighter, Kelly had dropped an inch and added not one but two fins (fifth being a tiny stabilizer). Heitor, to his credit, had some big throw-spraying back and blasts to be proud of, but failed to tie up lose ends and complete his rides with any real purpose. His is a style of surfing that’s easy to like – critical, powerful and fast.
Jordy Smith took care of business in his battle with Joel Parkinson and Miguel Pupo. It was an important step in Jordy’s quest to return to his menacing best. He spoke of being beaten by Joel his “whole life” and how enjoyable it was getting a few back. “The little paddle battle – that was cool too,” he said after. His win over Joel last year in round five was also a cracker… but the ledger still sees Joel on top. But today it was Joel who’d have to ride again as Jordy joined Kelly in the quarters. Along with the downgrading of Jeffery’s Bay from a World Tour event to a six star W.Q.S, Jordy’s weight too has been a topic of conversation. He’s looking leaner, thanks to what sounds like a pretty simple solution – diet. “No more cheese burgers and that sort of stuff … they’re saying I’m not 86 but I promise you I am – I came down from 93,” insisted Jordy.
In the final heat of the round Taj Burrow won convincingly despite breaking a board. “I’ve got a couple of sick boards as back up,” he calmly said in his post heat interview. When quizzed about the possibility of running through the men’s quarters that afternoon, Taj hosed down the idea, “I’d rather wait, have a couple of lay days and catch my breath”. With all said and done it was Adriano De Souza (who won the first heat), Kelly, Jordy and Taj all through to the quarterfinal stage.
In the Roxy Pro Carissa Moore bounced back from a rare hiding from Laura Enever in the previous round to regain her powerful world title winning form and finish kiwi rookie Sarah Mason’s run. Despite the loss, Sarah was philosophical and appreciative of the experience. “When I found out I had Carissa, I got very excited.” But the good times would end there for Carissa as she met a rampaging Tyler Wright in the quarters. Tyler Wright freaked out both the beach bums and the judges on one ride, scoring a whooping 9.6. Surfing off her back foot, drop-knee style, Tyler differentiated herself from Carissa with critical top-to-bottom surfing. By heat’s end she had Carissa in he kind of horrible combination situation (Carissa needed 18.40) that could rattle the Hawaiian’s confidence in future events. I for won am glad Tyler chose surfing over an apparently promising skateboarding career, her reason for choosing the sport of kings? “Hitting concrete or hitting water? I chose water”. The remaining spots in the Roxy Pro’s quarterfinals were filled by Laura Enever, Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore (all natural footers).
Amongst the second chance cowboys who flourished in round five was Owen Wright, who squeaked by an unlucky Michel Bourez. “I’d love to take out this event on my backhand,” Owen said later, noting that the last goofy to win at Snapper was Aussie, Michael Lowe and then acknowledging what the task would entail. “I think it’s going to take nines to win this event”.
Meanwhile, Josh Kerr raised a warning flag that fluttered handsomely as the east nor’ easter continued to howl. “I (normally) lick my lips when there’s a contest with onshore winds,” Josh told reporters after disposing of Heitor Alves. And with the possibility of such conditions ahead Kerrzy may well get his day in the sun.
Ace Buchan finished off Miguel Pupo’s run, on the buzzer, with a three manoeuvre, seven point ride – followed by passionate claims. Gee it was nice to see a bit of passion I must say. “It took them so long to read the score out …” a grinning Ace commented after the heat , “but I was really confident that I got it.”
Saving the best till last – Joel Parkinson’s ten. Parko rolled into a foamie grinder his opponent, Julian Wilson, was also on out wide. Once Julian had yielded, Parko stuck his head around the corner and proceeded to unleash his fury on the Snapper wall. Again and again Parko reinvented his next move offering variety, power and progression and the judges were left with nowhere to go but up. Ten, ten, ten!
Parko, Kerrzy, JW, Owen, Sally, Tyler, Taj and Steph. Pics: ASP/Robbo and Kirstin
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 5 RESULTS:
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 RESULTS:
UPCOMING ROXY PRO GOLD COAST SEMIFINALS MATCH-UPS:
UPCOMING ROXY PRO GOLD COAST QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Watch highlights: http://www.tracksmag.com/Blogs/Quiksilver-Pro/VIDEO-highlights-Round-4-5-Quik-Pro.html